One of the most prominent national airlines among the South Pacific nations, Fiji Airways has operated under its current brand for just over three years. From 1979 to 2013, the national airline of Fiji operated under the name Air Pacific. Citing a lack of consumer association between the airline and the nation of Fiji, managing director Dave Pflieger initiated a sweeping overhaul of the company’s brand.
The official rebranding ceremony took place in 2013. Held in the Fijian capital of Suva, the ceremony was attended by Frank Bainimarama, prime minister of Fiji, as well as a number of other senior officials from both the Fiji government and the former Air Pacific. At the ceremony, the newly branded Fiji Airways announced the delivery of three new A330-200 aircraft, which represented the company’s first-ever purchase of newly constructed aircraft. Fiji Airways also revealed upgrades in several other areas, including in-flight dining, entertainment systems, and partnerships with major international airlines.
Virgin America’s "Red" seatback entertainment system offers passengers the ability to make in-flight donations to offset the environmental impact of their trip. This year, in celebration of Earth Day, the company matched all onboard donations made during the last week of April to both the Carbonfund.org Foundation and NatureBridge, a nonprofit that offers environmental science education. Through NatureBridge, Virgin America is also funding shoreline cleanup and preservation projects in California. Additionally, the airline encouraged team members around the nation to donate their time to local cleanup campaigns throughout April in recognition of Earth Day.
Virgin America began offering flyers the ability to offset their carbon footprints in 2008, when founding officer and Senior Vice President Dave Pflieger put the airline on the map as one of the very first airlines in the U.S. to offer passengers the ability to offset carbon emissions via the company's web site--before flying, and via the airline's industry leading in-flight entertainment system-"Red" -- during their actual flight. Since that time, Virgin America flyers have offset more than 15 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Green operations have formed a central aspect of the Virgin America mission since the company stood up its corporate sustainability program in 2007. The airline was the first airline in the U.S. to measure and report its carbon footprint, and its San Francisco HQ building has received LEED certification. Virgin America new aircraft are up to 20 percent more fuel efficient than the industry average.
The Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development (FRIEND) seeks to reduce poverty in Fiji by providing individuals with opportunities for social and economic empowerment. The organization’s youth development initiatives include training programs for individuals between the ages of 15 and 30. These training opportunities attract participants from a wide range of backgrounds. People with special needs, youth struggling with unemployment, and students from both secondary and tertiary institutions have participated. The training programs aim to increase self-esteem while also teaching marketable skills. Activities include sign language courses, workshops, and awareness events focused on initiatives like the Millennium Development Goals.
In addition to training programs, FRIEND connects young people to the Youth Employment Network project, which offers mentorship and training to people without steady employment. Participants interact with motivational speakers and gain direct work experience through volunteer positions. Another opportunity is FRIEND Art & Cultural Enterprises (FACE), which targets at-risk youth and provides them with a creative outlet through exposure to the visual and performing arts.
One of Friend's largest corporate sponsors is Fiji Airways, and their partnership began in 2012 under the leadership of Managing Director and CEO Dave Pflieger.
About David Pflieger
David Pflieger - Senior Airline Executive